Those who paid a visit to Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago this week likely noticed a newly installed statue just outside President Donald Trump’s namesake building.
The sculpture, the work of Chicago-based artist Scott Reeder, simply reads “REAL FAKE” in metallic gold, uppercase letters. The artwork delivers a not-so-subtle dig at number 45, who has been frequently described as a “charlatan,” a “scam artist” and a “duplicitous demagogue.”
Reeder’s piece was installed on Monday night by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), as reported by The Chicago Tribune, as part of the city’s Year of Public Art program.
Just one day after the piece was installed, Trump was exposed for hanging fake Time Magazine covers with his face on the cover on the walls of his golf clubs around the world. It also references Trump’s ongoing assault on “fake news” media ― a designation he often slings at publications attempting to hold him accountable.
The six-foot-tall artwork was first displayed at Art Basel in 2013, so, regardless of how fitting the Trump associations may be, the piece was made long before Trump was even a presidential candidate.
And yet the dig is more than evident. As Chicago city spokeswoman “coyly” told The Chicago Tribune, “what’s wonderful about art is that it is completely open to interpretation.”
Reeder’s piece is not the only work of protest art scheduled to invade Trump Tower this summer. Chicago-based architectural firm New World Design Ltd. has plans to erect golden flying pigs that would obscure Trump’s logo from view.
Jeff Roberts, who is leading the firm, explained the motivation behind the work in a statement: “The references are many, from flying pigs and Miss Piggy comments to a taste for gold embellished interiors. Ultimately, this is a very rational design and is in direct contrast to the chaotic nature and bizarre antics of our current leadership.”